This story is not real, is a fiction. Any fact or similitude with the central theme of this story, any resemblance to the characters and scenarios it is complete coincidence. It is the goal of this written helps to eradicate this scourge that is the domestic violence, that unfortunately affects part of our society. You can help. together we can do it. Rocky Romano 04/12/2016
Knowing Todd Leone
Autumn had come to Seattle, beautiful colored leaves, red, yellow and some green opaque said goodbye to summer. In an old building on 10th avenue, known organization working to against Domestic Violence. They received many cases from battered women and abused by their husbands or partners. In the last office hallway, director of the institution, Peter Jensen analyzes every last summarizes the who had arranged for the post of family therapist, looked again and again staff work history and life of Todd Leone, then he thought, he was the right man for that position, although some surprising in the history of Todd indicated that was an uncommon professional, say unusual.
Close by, a man dressed classically masculine black shirt and blue jeans walked by downtown Seattle and entered the well-known Italian Coffee saluting the old man who prepared the beverages.
“Pasquale, buona giornata! Tutto bene? Dammi caffe al cioccolato mai.”
Having served the black aromatic coffee and delicious chocolate cake, the old Pasquale embrace the nice man, said.
“Todd Leone, molto tempo fa non vedo, sono felice per vostra visita inaspettata.”
“Pasquale, tu me dici, fencing di dimostrare stai? Ho dimenticato la lingua dei miei nonni? Per favore!! Che Parla Inglese!! .” Todd responded by showing him, that had not forgotten the language of their grandparents.
“Okay, Todd, I am very happy to see you again. You began to exercise your profession again, they renewed your license, that’s significant.” Pasquale, said.
“Yes, Pasquale, now I am waiting for the end of interview, I really want this job. I must to go.”
And Pasquale really seriously said.
“Son, an advice, keep your stamina this time for love affairs, no fights anymore!.”
Precisely at that moment elsewhere in the same city, something was wrong, inhuman and detestable, Esteban entered the small apartment, the child saw him and felt fear, but the man does not care, in the small kitchen was a beautiful girl, looked long black shiny hair, her eyes reflected sadness and nostalgia, she had not heard the income of the individual, Esteban violently burst aggressively addressing her.
“Bella, instead of messing around with your therapies and absurd meetings you should devote time to cook, I am hungry!!.”
She could not avoid the stinking breath alcohol and other herbs, while was crying said.
“Esteban, please! be patient, do not scare the child.”
The little one entrance to the kitchen and saw his father slapped his mother.
“Miserable girl, the next I’ll hit you even harder.”
Then, the child ran to hug Bella.
“Do not cry, my little Nelson, Mommy’s fine.” Bella said.
Very hastily she served the food and left the place with the child in her arms, that nasty man ate like a hungry beast.
Meanwhile, Todd entered the office of the director Peter Jensen, after the previous introduction .
“Todd, Have a seat, please!.” The Director invited Todd
“Thank you, Mr. Jensen.” Said Todd
Mr. Jensen putting his glasses said.
“Okay, let’s cut to the chase, having studied your background, I think and believe that you are the right man for the post of family therapist in the area of women victims of domestic violence, however episode for which was held your license for a considerable period not stop calling my attention, would be very useful if with your own words tell me, what happened that morning of October, 24 at the fast food place located at 156 Avenue in Bellevue.”
The mind of Todd stopped completely to return to the time of his past, he instantly sat back, crossed his hands together and looked at the Director’s eyes and said.
“I do not regret it slightest about what I did that day.”
It happened in an autumn in 2012, Todd was visiting a school in District Bellevue to talk about, how to teach children to protect themselves from strangers and spot them in schools and places of games, during the meeting were teachers, parents and students.
Absorbed in his own thoughts, Todd continued saying.
“I left the school building, the cold was piercing and my body was asking for some food and eager my mind add a message, hot coffee. I did not know the area very well, so while driving my car on 156th Street and I saw a fast food place, decided to stop there, once inside the establishment I realized that there was no available tables in adult area, an employee of the business said.
“Sir, if you uncomfortable eating in the playground area, there you will find some free tables.”
“No, uncomfortable in the least.” Todd said
Todd drank water and continued.
“Down stairs, an old and sympathetic woman cleared the tables, she greeted me and I responded politely, observed on the badge her name and I said, Lila, you work very hard.”
She replied nervously.
“I so sorry, I do not speak English, my English is very poor.”
“And what is your original language?.” Todd asked
“Spanish.” She answered
In that moment Lila looked into his eyes and said in Spanish.
“Soy vidente, talvez tu no puedas creer esto. Tu eres un buen hombre que cree en la justicia,y tratas de llevarla a donde tu vas. Cuidado con esto! Estaras en problemas!.”
And Todd without understanding said.
“Sorry, I cannot understand you.”
At the same time he felt a chill in his body and really knew the woman had a sixth sense, another employee’s Lila approached to him and said.
“Sir, do not panic, she is just telling you, that you are a good man and believe in justice and try to carry it wherever you go, be careful with that, it can bring to you some problems.”
And the employee added.
“Do not pay attention to what she is talking about, because we believe she driving crazy.”
So, Todd approached the woman and said.
“Thank you very much, Sweet Lady I will remember it.”
Once Todd has placed his food order, he noticed that a child was playing there, it was accompanied by an adult who appeared to be his father, who was lost in his world sending text messages. Suddenly the man stood up violently and went to the child and said.
“Bruce, it is time to go!!.”
The boy replied.
“No, Steve, not yet, I’m having fun.”
Then the man reacted very temperamentally.
“Boy, which parts you do not understand?, we have to leave, right now!.”
The boy insisted.
“No, buts!!” The man said.
Then, he took in a very rough way the child from his little arm and slapped the boy on the right cheek. The child let out a cry of anguish and despair saying.
“Please!! Do not hit me, again.”
Todd, stopped eating, got up from his chair and went to the man and said.
“Sir, excuse me, you should stop mistreating your child, now.”
The man reacted arrogantly and answered.
“What? who are you?. This is not your business!.”
The athletic therapist looked into the eyes of the ruthless man, and his sentence had already ruled and with a deep voice replied.
“My name is Todd Leone, I am Therapist and work against the Domestic Violence, especially on children and women, I have authority to speak about this. Oh! yeah! it is my business to stop it, when I see evil people hurt kids.”
Steve, laughed, scorn and evil.
“Stupid man! tell me, how you are going to stop this?.”
Extreme security was perceived in The Therapist and responded.
“I have some interesting and novel methods, I can give you a demonstration.”
The thug did not think. Todd approached ready to attack as the man threw the first blow, which was avoided with absolute skill like a professional boxer, while taking the right arm of Steve, and twisted from behind his grabbed his lower back and neck where the head end and a powerful strength, hit him again and again on the table, in the last hit the thug bounced back and fell on the floor with his face smashed and bloodied. The boy with a cheerful expression said.
“Yes!!. He deserve it!.” And ran to embrace The Therapist.
In the blink of an eye, the police were there, Todd was handcuffed and placed under arrest, one of law enforcement officers asked the boy.
“Are you okay?
Smiling the little boy looked at The therapist while being guarded by the police.
“Todd, you will come back? You are great!!”
The Therapist turned and looked at the boy and said.
“As soon as I am allowed to, take care of yourself!.”
The police officer surprised smiled and approached Todd and said softly in his ear.
“I so sorry, dude, but I must to follow the procedure , I know you did the right thing, I think we need more guys like you.”
And again in the reality of the moment, Peter Jensen, The Director, interrupted coughing slightly and said.
“Well, very interesting story, full of bravery, courage and justice, but there is an established order and we must stick to it, you cannot walk everywhere to shock playing the hero.”
Todd replied sheepishly .
“I know, Sir I trust in the system, but sometimes is a little slow.”
They both looked at each other and at that time The Director of The Institution knew that before him, was a brave man. Then Mr. Jensen said.
“Congratulations!, Mr. Leone the job is your. Your office will be the #2 and also tomorrow you will receive your first case, is the one that drove Mrs. Allyson, but because her pregnancy is not doing good, she needed some vacation, so you have to continue with the case. Now you have to go to Human Resources offices and see Mrs. Ivonne, who will give you the instruction for appropriate ITS development in the organization.”
Mr. Jensen held out his hand to greet Todd and said.
“Good luck! by the way I do not believe in heroes. Now, you can go.”
Todd smiled and tightly squeezed the Mr. Jensen’s hand, which meant a sincere greeting and said.
“Mr. Jensen, thank you very much! I really appreciate this opportunity to work for this organization. But, let me tell you something, the world needs heroes.”
Then Todd left of the director’s offices.
The Meeting with Ivonne
Todd went to the office of Human Resources and there was received by Ivonne, which had everything prepared for, master key to enter the building and the corresponding tag and she introduced for herself.
“Hello, nice too meet you! My name is Ivonne Holmes, I am the Director of Human resources”
“It’s my pleasure” Todd replied
She gave in his hands all prepared items.
“Well, Todd I know all about you and I’ll be here when you need help in your work.”
Todd kindly said.
“Thank you! And tell me, how long how you been here.”
“About three years.” Ivonne answered
And Todd added.
“Wow!! I am sure you’ve had many experiences here.”
Ivonne looked at him seriously and continued.
“Look, I have seen many cases, many women and children have with success come forward and now have a better life, but there are others in which women victims of abuse not openly denounce their abusers and in that case is not much we can do, I hate this false sexism in these men, I mean that they believe are ‘Machos’, but they really are not. These kind men!! if you can call it so!!. Should there be someone to kick their ass!!.”
Todd surprised by the anger of Ivonne responding.
Ivonne, trying to change the subject said.
“Okay, report back tomorrow 7.00 am, as you know you will have your first case, the file will be send you by e -mail to your mailbox. I beg you study it carefully, is one of those cases where fear has invaded the family and continues making very unlikable mischief, someone has to stop this.”
Then, Todd sigh as if it had been invaded by a sense of justice on this case and the idea had begun to obsess him and said.
“Okay, I will do my best, I will see you tomorrow. Thanks!.”
By the time Todd opened the door, Ivonne surprise him, again.
“Well done with that bastard at the fast food restaurant in Bellevue.”
The Therapist turned and looked at her in silence. In the Ivonne’s face had a gesture and seductress smile full of complicity and then winked and said.
“Todd, do not worry about that. I would call it ‘Occupational Hazard’.”
Then, Todd smile and left. After that Ivonne sighed and thought quietly.
“Come on Todd! Do not try to hide the warrior you have inside, I know you! I can feel you. Me too! I am a warrior. I just saw you knew we are soul mates.”
Saving a life
Nightfall come as Todd arrived to his apartment, retirement correspondence mailbox, and once inside, he thought would cook spaghetti with red sauce, it was delightful idea, the began painstaking as he learned of his mother, and he said to himself.
“This does not work without music.”
Then put the CD of a favorite, Andrea Bocelli that brought his romantic memories, ‘Per Amore’. While everything was up in the kitchen, he drank mineral water and was checking the mail that arrived on that day, a pink envelope caught his eyes, the sender read Victoria Garden.
“I cannot believe it!.”
Before opening the envelope he drained the spaghettis, beat red sauce and low temperature cooking, finally opened the envelope, smiled and drank water, it was a beautiful greetings card and smaller letter with sweet and loving children’s drawings. and it read like this:
“Dear Todd, congratulations!! on your new job, wonder how I found out, last days I was in the coffee shop of your friend Pasquale and told me the news, I’m happy for you, you deserve it…”
Not finish reading and headed to the kitchen again, withdraw the red sauce from heat and added the spaghettis and let it stand, then he thought.
“Girl was a year a few days before Christmas, if I remember that rainy night in Issaquah..”
Todd was walking in the small and beautiful City of Issaquah, rained intermittently and said.
“An umbrella with me, luckily I am cautious and always carry”
Then he saw that a hidden corner, was a young woman with wavy blond hair getting wet in the rain in front of a car with the hood up, cursing.
“Damn Self!! Starts!! That I need you!! You are rubbish!!.”
Then Todd approached her, and said cavalierly.
“Miss, let me see if I can help you.”
She had tears in her eyes and responding.
“Thank you! I get nothing good!! Nothing!, my daughter is ill and my car does not work, damn!.”
Todd looked at her and asked.
“where is your little one.”
And Victoria answered.
“In the back seat with a lot pain and high fever.”
Then Todd opened the back door and saw the little girl writhing in pain lying on the back seat, entered in her car settled beside the little girl, took her in his arms and asked.
“What is your name?.”
The little girl with straight black hair , big brown eyes and beautiful eyelashes replied.
“Ally, ow!! hurts!”
“Where does it hurt.” The Therapist asked
And the girl pointing out with her little hand the belly near the navel and said.
“Right here, my tummy.”
While lifted her right leg, Todd asked.
“How old are you?.”
Ally responded in pain.
“Ow, ow ! it hurts!! I am five years old.”
Then, Todd sat up from the car and told Victoria.
“We must hurry, this can be dangerous, the symptoms appear to be a chronic appendicitis. We must to take her to the closer Emergency Center.”
“That’s what I was trying to do, when this damn car could not start.”
Certainly nervous, Todd said.
“We will take mine, which is the closest Emergency Center?.”
Sobbing, Victoria answered.
“The Swedish Hospital. Let me tell you, thank you! Thank you very much!.”
The Therapist looked at her with compassion and said.
“You are very welcome!. They have an excellent professionals and will know what to do. Let’s go!!.”
Todd took the thin and delicate little girl in his arms and walked to his car, the old blue Nissan, 1999. Victoria sat in the back of the car and The Therapist put Ally in her arms.
Then drove fast but carefully, addressing the Swedish Hospital Issaquah and when arrived parked in the emergency area. For a moment Victoria watched as Todd gently, extreme tenderness and love took the little girl and thought.
“Wow! He is a stranger to us, but acts as her father. Where this man comes? The heaven sent him to me right now.”
They addressed to the reception of medical emergencies, and it was Todd who spoke.
“We need urgent attention to this girl, she feels very bad. I think it’s about to burst appendicitis, maybe is too late. Do not waste time with protocols! Do it something! Please!.”
Victoria intervened giving all the details of the girl and herself.
The desk clerk asked Todd.
“Are you the father.?”
Again Victoria spoke.
“He is my best friend, like a father to my child, has my permission to come with us.”
Todd looked surprised. Once in the ER, Ally was checked and the Doctor decided to make an ultrasound to detect where it come from the pain and discomfort that was affecting the little girl. The Professional who was monitoring ultrasound said.
“Holy cow! You are right, is appendicitis and has burst, is really serious. I will communicate urgently with the Doctor in charge of emergency and bring The Surgeon.”
They had to intervene urgently to Ally, her life was in danger. The nurses prepared the little girl. Ally looked around and felt desolation and while writhing sobbed said.
“I want to go home! Daddy, Daddy why you are not here?.”
Todd could not contain their silent tears and took the hand of the little one and said.
“Ally, do not worry, I am here and will accompany you at all times.”
The little girl looked at him and said.
“You are not my daddy, I want my daddy here.”
Todd distressed said.
“I know! I know!, but you know what, it is my honor to replace him for a few moments. Angel, you are so beautiful! Let me care of you until he arrives.”
Then, she smiled sweetly and said.
“Okay, but promise me that you will bring him. Will you?.”
The Therapist looked at the girl’s mother and replied.
“I promise you! I will , when you wake up, your daddy will be beside you.”
Todd approached the mother and said.
“By the way, what is your name?.”
“Victoria, Victoria Garden.”
Todd introduce for himself.
“Mine is Todd Leone, and I am psychologist, family therapist specializes in domestic violence. For now I do not work as such, my license was suspended for a time, but the issue is irrelevant.”
He gave to her an old business card and said.
“Here is my personal information, address, phone, and back of the card I wrote the address of the coffee shop where I grab my routine coffee and chocolate cake. The owner is an old friend, is for me like my father. The old Pasquale.”
And Todd added.
“I will look for her father. You need to tell me something about your husband.”
Victoria explained to him.
“He just does not answer my calls, our relationship is very broken. He does not want to see me.”
For a moment Todd looked angry and said.
“That does not matter!! what matters is the little girl, he should be here!. Do you know where he is residing now?”
Victoria, looked down and responding.
“Yes, I know. He is staying with a friend not far from here. Let me write down the address and his cell phone number.”
Trembling she wrote the information and gave it to Todd.
It was time for surgery, The Therapist accompanied the girl to the threshold of operations, and while The Professionals made all the preparations to induce sleep her. Todd took her little hand and said.
“Ally, everything will be fine, I am watching a beautiful Angel by your side, without doubts will protect you all this time.”
Ally squeezed Todd’s hand and said.
“Todd, in this short time I’ve known you, I realized that I love you.”
The Therapist tried to hide his tears and say.
Once the little girl entered the surgery room, Todd was prepared to go in search of the Ally’s father.
“I cannot waste time.” Todd said.
Victoria took his right arm and looking into his eyes said.
“Be careful !.”
Todd left the hospital and took the freeway I-90 and left at 17 junction addressing 2245SW Clark. When he arrived to the apartment E-231, before knocking on the door, called the cell phone of Petro Garden, but not one answered, after that knocked and then a big man opened the door and said rudely.
“How I can help you, man?.”
The Therapist replied with extreme confidence in himself.
“I am looking for Petro Garden and I know very well is temporarily residing here.”
The tattooed bald man, evilly smiled and said.
“No, he is not here, I do not see him much.”
Then attempted to close the door, Todd locked it with his right foot and pushed the door and then the man tried to punch him with a demolition force, but Todd acted fast, hit him from above twice with devastating blows, the giant fell on the floor, then Todd put his foot on the man’s throat beaten and said.
“You need to improve your memory. Maybe, I can help you with that! Tell me! Where is him?.”
The giant that a few moments ago seemed to be invincible, now looked sadly hurt said.
“No! no! no, more!, he is in the room on the right. Do not hit me, again, is not my problem.”
The Therapist felt some guilt.
“I so sorry, I had to. I had not other choice, the Petro’s daughter is in serious trouble, at the moment is under a dangerous surgery.”
The bald man said.
“I did not know about that, go for him!. I so sorry, too.”
Todd entered the room, Petro slept deeply under the influence of alcohol, picked him up and took to the bathroom and put him under a shower of cold water.
“Wake up! Petro your daughter is under a dangerous surgery. Wake up man!!.”
Petro just babbling.
“I cannot go, I cannot go. I do not want to see my wife….”
Todd picked him up again and sat on the toilet and slapped him very hard on both cheeks.
“Come on, moron! I expect you to meet with your daughter at her side when she wake up.”
Petro remained motionless staring at nothing and a feeling of sorrow invaded him. Regret invaded his broken heart and burst into tears.
“I will go! Oh! God forgive me!
With pity looked at The Therapist and added.
Oh! God! I am a really bad father. What I am doing?.”
The Therapist put his hand on the Petro’s shoulder.
“Now, you are doing the right thing. Hurry up! we do not have time to waste.”
While the other man addressed them bringing a cup black coffee.
“Petro!! You are an idiot! Drink this coffee!. You never told me about your daughter, otherwise you would not have been shelter. Drink! this will help clear your head and do me a favor, go and meet with your responsibilities. I am a bad guy but I have codes.”
At that moment, The Therapist realized that this “Bad guy”, could be a recoverable spirit and said.
“I think is your time to quit being a bad guy. Think twice!.”
The rude man replied.
“I will! There something else I can do?.”
“Yes! Pray if you know.” The Therapist said.
“I will. Very simple, I just talk with God as a friend.” The man answered.
Then Todd and Petro went to the car took the I-90 toward the Swedish Hospital, during the trip had a conversation.
“Petro you have an opportunity of a new reconciliation with life, that means you will not leave to your daughter under any excuse, you will be a good father, otherwise you will be in debt to life for the rest of your days in addition to deal with me.”
They arrived at The Hospital reception. Petro was identified as the Ally’s father. Then they entered the room, had just finish the surgery, the surgeon spoke with them.
“Everything went perfect, but due to the state it was operated and as we had to clean inside her. So Must to be under intense care, the hospital stay way was extended for several days. Now, parents both of you can go with her to the room.”
The Doctor paused and turned to Todd Leone, The Therapist.
“Mr. Leone. Mrs. Victoria Garden has told us everything about you. I am grateful for your cooperation. Thank you to help to save a life.”
The Therapist replied.
“Was my duty, it is as The Universe works.”
Then both parents went to the little girl and woke up and took the hands of her father and mother.
“Daddy! daddy! You are here as Todd promised me.”
Petro hugged his wife and daughter and said.
“Ally, My Little Girl I promise to never leave you! No matter what!.”
Ally looked at them.
“In the surgery room I dreamed that a boy dressed in white, smiled and took my hand all the time. I felt protection, was so real. I am sure it was my Guardian Angel. I think is the same that Todd saw before my surgery next to me.”
The Doctor told her sweetly.
“Ally, maybe it was a dream caused by the anesthesia.”
Then Petro asked his wife.
“Who is this man who helped us so much?.”
Victoria responded with a romantic undertone.
“A simple man who believes in Love and Justice.”
At that moment Todd left the hospital, it was dark and still raining, put on his head the typical black cap with The American Eagle, looked at the sky and said.
“God, My Lord thank you for being here.”
Returning to the present, Todd continued reading the letter.
“Dear Todd, Ally, Petro and I will always be grateful, the first reason is for saving our daughter’s life and the second is that you helped to unite our family again.”
Todd looked at the pictures of the girl, which childish letter read.
“I love you Todd.”
Very thoughtful, he served the dinner, his favorite spaghettis and ate in the complete solitude in his apartment… maybe not , just some ghost from his past accompanied him.
The Meeting with Bella and her son Nelson
Todd woke up at 4.30 am and enjoyed the intense training in the gym. At 7.00 am, was in his new office and reading the expedient, his first case to solve. Bella Benavidez, 35 years old. Abused and mistreated by her husband but without legal reports, because she seemed to be always refuse to report the facts. Her son, Nelson Bonzon, 7 years old, second grade of Elementary School, speaking academically outstanding student, but with some aggressive behaviors toward their classmates, especially against girls. Her partnership and also father of Nelson, Esteban Bonzon, 40 years old, unemployed.
Todd hit the folder against the desk and said.
“how can it be? No more background of this man called Esteban! Geez! his personal information is incomplete!.”
Then he called Ivonne to her extension.
“Good morning, Ivonne, How is doing your day?.”
She replied with her little classical giggle.
“Great! How about yourself?.”
The Therapist answer.
“Doing good, studying the file of my first patient, Mrs. Bella Benavidez, but I am very intrigued, no more information about her partnership, Mr. Esteban Bonzon, who is responsible for this family drama.”
“yes, you are right!.”
The Therapist continued.
“I need the profile of his personality, if he has mental disorders and some toxic addictions and also I need to define the characteristics of the victim, why she still with him?. I have only incomplete information.”
Ivonne explained slowly and analytically.
“Todd, I expected you to realize about it, it shows you’re a good professional. Between you and I, I know very well what is happening in that family, but I do not have a real proof, it is only based on my instincts woman. Bella often appears with some kind punch in her face or some parts of her body, and is always the result of an ‘accident’. Do you believe it?.”
The Therapist closed his right fist and replied.
“No, I do not believe it!.”
“Anyways Bella and her son Nelson, have an appointment with you today at 10.30 am, if you are skilled you can get more information about the case, and I think you are smart to get it.”
“I will see what I can do.” The Therapist replied.
Then Todd looked at Esteban’s picture, whispered and said.
“Bad guy, I will catch you!.”
At 10.25 am, knocked on the door of Todd’s office and he opened it. That was a magical moment, time stopped for a moment, the natural beauty of Bella had hit the eyes and spirit of The Therapist, both of them stared into each other eyes without word, it seemed that the feeling was mutual. Something about The Therapist had touched her heart, too. It was her who broke the silence.
“Good morning! I am Bella Benavidez and he is my son Nelson. You must be my new therapist?.”
Todd composed his throat and said.
“Yes, I am. My name is Todd Leone, is a pleasure to meet both of you. Come in.”
.Accommodate the chairs facing his desk and invited them to sit down. Then he sat, looked up and smiled.
“Well, well, you are the little Nelson. How you doing in the school?.”
The boy shyly answered.
The Therapist said.
“Call me Todd.”
“Mr. Leone, precisely about the boy I wanted to talk today.”
“Bella, call me Todd, please!. You will find a friend in me.
Todd watched her slyly and continued.
“Sure, we will talk about your son, but first of all I would like to ask you something, what happened to you on your right cheek?, looks like a nasty blow.”
Bella blushed and looked down.
“It was just an accident, lowering a ladder at work I fell and hit my face. It was a busy day.”
Todd unconvinced by the response asked again.
“Did you report the accident at work?.”
Bella embossed knowing that hid a lie responded.
“No, I did not.”
Todd attempt to discover Bella with one more question.
“You should always report accidents. Where do you work?.”
She tried to avoid the conversation changing the subject.
“I am a maid in a hotel, but today I’m not here to talk about me, I’m here to talk about my son.”
Then The Therapist looked into her eyes with a gesture of authority and said.
“Now, both of you are my responsibility, I will care about you and the child. Is clear for you?. Today I will see what is happening with Nelson, but Tomorrow you will come back to my office and I want to see what is wrong in your home.”
Bella really nervous replied.
“Tomorrow at work is a difficult day for me and after that I have to get home and prepared the dinner…it’s…”
The Therapist interrupted.
“I already see there is someone who cannot wait for the dinner!. Well… anyways I will be here until 6.00 pm, if you choose to come, will be very good to talk in private, if you come with Nelson, there is a playroom for kids and one of our representatives will be happy to take watch him while you and I speak.”
She did not respond at all. Todd asked.
“So, tell me something is wrong about Nelson?.”
She is sadly replied.
“It happens that I have had two reports from the school, unfortunately Nelson attacked two girls, the first time was a slight blow to the face without major consequences, but the fact is not right to do so, the second, his teacher caught him in time when he went to hit another girl.”
The Therapist said analytically.
“The question is why always girls. Bella be honest with me, the child is seeing something that is not correct at home, maybe a wrong role model?.”
She totally tense.
“No, no nothing wrong has seen.”
Todd for a moment was silent which expressed disbelief at the response by Bella, then called Nelson at the center of his office where there was a blue carpet, knelt in front of the boy, both were the same height took his shoulders and said.
“Nelson, look at my eyes, I will show you something that my father taught me, he was and is my role model, it is a powerful teaching and today I want to share with you. Do you want to learn about this?.”
The boy answered with some confidence.
“Yes Todd, I want to learn about this.”
The Therapist continued talking didactically and the same time with parental love.
” Boys, we were created to care and protect girls, our strength and skills should be use to defend them of anyone who wants to harm them, if you fulfill this mission that makes you a real man, that makes you a hero and otherwise if you become an abuser that makes you a villain. So, which one would you be? The hero boy or The villain of the movie?.”
The child smiled and said.
“Todd, I wan to be The Hero Boy of the movie!.”
The Todd’s word expressed an authority with knowledge and love.
Nelson grasped the feeling perfectly.
“Sure, Todd! Forever!.”
Bella approached Todd, there was something about him it attracted her,but she didn’t let it show. She asked
“Do you think that’s enough.”
“Yes, I hope so. You can call it Role Model. I can see Nelson lacks of it.”
Bella hurried to leave, taking the child by the hand and walked to the door, Todd followed behind them, suddenly she turned and with tears in her eyes said.
“Tomorrow I will not come back here. Do you know what fear means?…fear! I am scare and nothing and no one can do anything about it, fear! my life is scary!!.”
Then, Todd tried to calm her.
“Fear is fear, I know what do you mean, but now do not be afraid, nothing and no one will harm you again.”
“I will no return here anymore!!.”
She opened the door, The Therapist thought to hold her and let know that he will protect her . A strange and powerful feeling had invaded him since saw Bella, but he didn’t embrace her, he froze because thought that doing so was unethical and not professional mix such feelings with work. He was torn.
Putting the abuser in the place of the victim
Then Todd looked at woman and the child walked away. Back at his desk, took Esteban’s picture and said out loud.
“You are in trouble and this time you will make fun of no-one, that which is not gained by reason, by force wins, you bastard!!.”
Came the evening, The Therapist took his car and headed to Bella Benavidez’s place, parked at the front the apartment. He put the Esteban’s picture on the wheel and said.
“Hungry rat!, it is almost dinner time, soon you will get your ration and I assure you will have enough.”
A few minutes later a man of the same characteristics of Esteban descend from a black colored truck with tinted windows, with very loud music, bid farewell to his teammates, the vehicle drove off and the individual walked into Bella’s home.
Again, Todd spoke out loud.
“There you are, one must wait few minutes to claim your food, just a few minutes…”
Todd quietly descend from the old blue Nissan and walked towards the Bella’s apartment and stopped halt at the door, he could clearly hear the insults of Esteban and also the cries of Bella and Nelson. He knocked at door, again and again, until he heard the man said.
“You woman! go and see who is the bastard is knocking the damn door and I want my food once for all!!.”
Bella opened the door quietly and looked out, was totally shocked when she saw Todd. She looked very beaten, then with frightened voice said.
“You must go! my husband is really angry much if he sees you here! For your own shake and my own! get out of here! please!.”
Then was the Esteban approached the door and in a threatening tone asked.
“Who the hell are you?.”
Bella tried to calm him.
“Esteban calm down, it’s just The Therapist, he helped our child and…”
Esteban was furious shouted.
“You are ridiculous! How do you dare to come to my house?.”
Then Esteban took by the arm and pushed her inside and punched her on the face, Nelson ran to defend his Mother and took the other arm of his father and desperate cried.
“You do not hit mom, not anymore!.”
But Esteban pushed Nelson aggressively and violently, the boy fell and hit his head against the wall, then was at that moment The Therapist took action. He puts the woman behind him, protecting her from the rage man. Seeing The Therapist defending Bella made him angrier, and throw punches uncontrolled toward Todd, who locked the last and hit a forehand in the area of the temple of Esteban, who fell sharply down. The Therapist without losing time, held Esteban’s face to the ground, with his right knee held his back and with an accuracy grabbed from his pocket police handcuffs and put them on Esteban’s wrist.
The Therapist very concerned asked the child.
“Nelson, are you okay”
The boy touching his head replied.
“Yes, I am fine.”
Bella ran toward Todd and hugged him.
“What you will do now?.”
Very sure of their actions and immutable.
“Stay calm! I will do everything necessary to bring the child and yourself out this situation. Now, take this keys and go to my apartment.”
Looking into her eyes gave her a car and continued.
“Here is the address, before to go take clothes for you and your son and do not worry for the rest, there you have everything that you need to live. When this over I will go to see both of you.”
Esteban seeing such scenario, got up stunned.
“Bitch!! You are not going anywhere!!.”
The Therapist as a fearsome shadow, grabbed Esteban by the neck with his right hand squeezing so strong that the offender felt to knees.
“Men were created to care and protect women, then we will have a talk about this.”
Esteban, screamed like a wounded hyena and said.
“Who he hell do you think you are?.”
Todd looked him into his eyes and expressed without mercy.
“As your wife told you, I am The Therapist, watch, learn and never forget it!.”
Bella was ready with her luggage and the child , she hugged Todd.
“I am scare!.”
Todd comforting Bella said.
“Nothing to fear, the only thing to fear is this well weighted gentleman, who will have much to explain to justice.”
Again, she hugged Todd and whispered in his ear.
“In the bathroom, in the right drawer, under a green towel there is a gun.”
The Therapist stroked Bellas’s head with compassion and caring.
“Thank you very much! I will take care of it.”
Also Nelson ran to hug Todd.
“I really wish you were my daddy!!.”
Todd knelt down and looked at child with paternal tenderness and said.
“I’m proud of you, how you defended your mother. You are Super Boy, my New Hero.”
Then, Bella before leaving looked at Todd with a Love that could not longer be hide, then they marched.
The Therapist took Esteban, take one of the handcuffs and pushed to one of the bars of the window and handcuffs again around it. Esteban spit on the Todd’s face, then The Therapist reacted instinctively and punched him on the right eye, so that Esteban hit his head against the iron fence and said.
“This is from the blow that you gave your son.”
The he puts a pair of plastic gloves, those used for medical attention and ran and he returned with an automatic 9mm pistol.
“Well, well! You have a really nice toy!.”
Todd checked the weapon, it was charged and said.
“Bad guy! You had it ready to use . Hum! Not good idea!.”
The Therapist removed the handcuffs from Esteban and said.
“Now, make a black coffee for me, only few drops vanilla flavor.”
Esteban replied irritably.
“I’m not your servant!! You do it!”
The Therapist came and hit him in the stomach, Esteban fell to his knees, took him from under the right arm and pushed him toward the kitchen counter, looked into his eyes and hit him on the face.
“You do it!! Do it!!.”
Esteban trembling made the coffee, added vanilla extract and spit into the cup and said.
“here is your damn coffee!!.”
Todd smiled mischievously and said.
“Okay!. Leave it on the table, a single drop will not spill. Let me tell you that you have a problem with that spitting. I must to teach you some good manners.”
And gave him an incredible punch in the jaw, Esteban again on the ground, quickly got up, crawling to the table sat on the chair. At that moment Todd had become a terrible beast and said.
“Drink the coffee!! Drink it!.”
Esteban aching from the blows drank coffee, resigned to his fate. After that crying and laughing at the same time said.
“Oh! Man!! You have a problem with anger management! I think you need some therapy to help you with that!.”
The Therapist, sigh, a feeling of compassion came over him, and cry.
“Oh! Damn it!! What am I doing?. retaliating violence with more violence! No! is not the right thing to do!.”
He looked at Esteban and added.
“I will not hurt you anymore, but I must make sure that you will never bother Bella and her Son. You must to pay for your sins!.”
Esteban began to sob saying.
“Do not kill me!! Please!! Do not kill me!!.”
The Therapist approached him with small machine recorder in his hand and said.
“Esteban, I put this recorder to operate and you must to confess, you must to answer every question that I will ask you with all the necessary details.”
Esteban crying said.
“whatever you ask, but do not hurt me anymore! Do not kill me! Please!.”
The Therapist took him with both hands by shoulders and pushed him against the wall.
“Damn Coward!! Tell me! How it feels to be on the other side? Afraid to die? Fear of being hurt?. That’s the same fear felt Bella protecting her son…now! how do you feel rat?. Perhaps uncertainty? because even you do not know if I will finish you with your own weapon!!.”
Esteban opened his mouth with extreme difficulty due to all the beatings.
Then The Therapist, turn on with extreme calm the recorder and asked the first question.
“Esteban Bonzon, have you committed acts of violence against your family, precisely to your wife or partnership Bella?.”
To this Esteban answered.
“Yes, I did.”
The Therapist remarked the question.
“You be specific, in what situation, how and where? Did you hurt your son Nelson? How many times did your hurt Bella?.”
The cowardly felon bent down and answered through clenched teeth.
“I loos the count how many times I hit the bitch!!.”
The Therapist ordered.
“Speak clearly and loudly!!.”
Nervously Esteban answered.
“I said I lost the count how many times I hit her and sometimes I punished very hard Nelson, too.”
The Therapist interrupted.
“You punished? You mean that you hit him, too, right?.”
Then Esteban continued.
“Yes, I did. And usually I hit Bella when I get home and I demanded her to cook my food, most the time I hit her in the face.”
At that moment The Therapist made a key intelligent question that would show strong evidence for authorities.
“Why do you think she never reported these issues to authorities?.”
Esteban knew that was facing his end, but answered anyways.
“I think it was because I constantly threatened her that I would remove her son if she opened the mouth to report it to the police.”
The Therapist erupted in anger and said.
The Therapist continued asking and each question has the highest intention to sink Esteban more.
“Do you have in your possession weapons and illegal drugs?.”
Esteban sighed and asked.
“I have to answer that?.”
“It’s your choice!!.”
The Therapist replied as he showed the gun in his waist, which did not seem an election, it was an invitation to certain death, maybe an apparent but forced suicide with his own gun the same one which had been hidden in the bathroom.
Esteban felt the threat and his sixth sense told him that Todd would not hesitate to do it, then replied.
“Yes, I have them distributed in different places.”
And The Therapist emphasized.
“You agree to give all this information with all details to the police.”
Esteban responded exhausted.
“I will! I will!. I need to drink water, please!.”
The Therapist turns off the recorder and handed him a glass od water. Esteban desperately drank the water and starts laughing hysterically.
“Thanks to you, I will go to jail for a long time, but at some point I will go out the hole. I ask to myself, if you stop hitting me for fear to your God, or you know when least expect it, I will kill you!.”
The Therapist smiled and looked into his eyes.
“You are a trash!! I stopped hitting you, because I fear my God, and I wan to do the right thing, but I think it’s too late for me, as to when you leave the hole you will kill me, won’t be necessary, I will be waiting for you. Do not try anything! Do not give an excuse to kill you!.”
“…. Or give me just one. You will make my day!.”
Then he took Esteban by the neck and brought to Todd’s face.
“God knows that I’m doing the right thing keeping you away from your home, because you have shown that can hurt your family.”
At that moment he got up from his chair, made sure that Esteban was properly handcuffed, he tied his feet to the chair, and also he put a piece of tape on the lips of the miserable guy.
Todd placed the recorder on the kitchen’s counter and said..
“Your time has come! Time to pay!.”
Then took the phone from the house itself, called the police and told them.
“Urgently! come to the address that appear on the caller ID of your system. When you arrive here you will find a very interesting package and some dark confessions. Esteban Bonzon is tied and his confession is on the kitchen counter. Is all yours!! The rest is up to you!.”
The Dispatcher asked.
“Who is speaking?.”
Silence on the line, a slow, deep bass voice, replied.
The police arrived in less than 10 minutes and found everything as Todd Leone had said. Esteban was arrested following the official procedure. A member of the police team said.
“You are under arrest, you have right to remain silent and request an attorney.”
Meanwhile The Therapist went home, when he arrived and entered his apartment, he saw Bella and her child sleeping soundly in his bed, at that moment, with a pure and paternal love, covered both of them with a blanket, and went to living room and slept on the couch. The next day, he woke up them with breakfast in bed.
“It’s over, you can enjoy your breakfast, both of you are out of danger.”
Bella asked very anxious.
“What happened? What will happen with us?.”
The Therapist, thoroughly explained what would happen in the future.
“Obviously, Esteban will have a fair trial. The authorities will call you to testify in court. Just you do the right thing without fear and no doubts that Esteban will be sentenced to many years in prison. And the good news for you is that in our organization we have a program of protection and relocation for cases like these, both of you will be incorporated into this blessed program. Meantime until this happens you and your son can live here.”
Very happy and excited, Bella believing the world was in their hands.
“Thank you!! Thank you!! I will prepare your food, your clothes, everything you need. Oh! Todd you are a great man!! .I will do whatever is necessary to make feel good!.”
Todd said tenderly.
“Thank you! Bella, but will not be necessary, I will move to the house of my friend Pasquale until this happens. You and your son have my respect, my love and protection. Now, I must to go, I have a lot to do to close this case.”
Then, very gently he kissed her hand and hugged nelson. Then he left the apartment.
After the report that Todd gave the authorities of the organization which were supported by police reports, began the procedures for the relocation of Bella and her son Nelson, which would taken place after the trial of Esteban Bonzon.
Meanwhile, Todd was working on other cases of domestic violence, finally came the day of judgment, which Bella was one the main witnesses in the case against Esteban. Before joining the court The Therapist told her.
“Not fear! Everything will be okay!. You raise your head high and tell the jury all the abuse and threats that you received by Esteban. Your relocation this advanced and very soon we will have news.”
Bella income to court with integrity and when she called to testify, looked at Esteban without looking down, which intimidated him. During the process she answered and declared with luxury details all the mistreatment received by Esteban Bonzon.
After this were called other witnesses to corroborate that Esteban was linked to many illegal activities beside The Judge had in his possession all the reliable documentation of the case.
Hours later, with the futile struggle Esteban’s attorney, the trial come to end. The jury convicted him in first order for domestic Violence and joined other unlawful acts, for which was given a sentence of fifteen years in prison without benefit of bail. This was the end of the nightmare of Bella.
The good news
After two weeks, a Monday in Todd’s office the phone rang.
“Good morning, Ivonne! How you have been?.”
“I am great!! God is good!. I have great news!! we got the relocation of Bella and her son Nelson.”
Todd exclaimed, not allowing Ivonne finish.
“Wow!! Excellent!! Tell me the details!.”
Ivonne courteously invited Todd to her office.
“Come to my office, we share a coffee and talk about it.”
Todd replied excitedly.
“I’m on my way!.”
Once in the Ivonne’s office, both drinking coffee accompanied by donuts comment the details.
“We achieved the relocation for Bella and her son Nelson in Spokane. A good job as manager maid in a first class hotel is waiting for her and both of them will live in a very comfortable apartment in a beautiful and quit neighborhood, part of the rent is paid by the State, as a case of relocation requested by our organization. ”
She took a bite of the donut and continued talking.
“The school for Nelson is in the same area and an important church that is one of the sponsor of our program has donated a car in very good condition, so they will can move from one place to another.”
Todd expressed with joy.
“Wonderful!!! Wonderful!! We did it!!.”
Ivonne recognizing the work of Todd said.
“I could not have done had it not been for you. You are incredible!. By the way, tell me how did you do that scoundrel confess all their misdeeds?.”
Todd smiled and winked at Ivonne.
She gave a Feminine Laugh.
“I imagined! Any other unusual method, right?..”
Todd said “Good bye” and headed to the door to leave from her office the Ivonne said.
“We want it to be you who gives the news to Bella. In two days they must be in Spokane, also we already have two plane tickets for them.”
The Therapist responded.
“It is understood!.”
Minutes later, The Therapist called Bella.
“Hi Bella, How are you?.”
She was not ready for this new.
“Oh!! Todd! What a surprise!!.”
Todd indifferent to the excitement of Bella, only just said.
“You must be prepare , in two days should be in Spokane, there will be the relocation , a good job is waiting for you as maid’s manager of a very important hotel, you will have a good salary. You and your son will live in a comfortable apartment, which The State pays 75% of the rent and also you will have a car in good condition so you will can move where you need to go. And the school for Nelson is in the same area.”
Bella’s silence was more than eloquent.
“How to say thanks for all you have done for us.”
“I just did my job.”
Then Bella asked in tone of deep sadness.
“I will see you again?.”
“Day after tomorrow I will take you to airport, prepares everything and come for your plane tickets to our offices.”
And that day of farewell, Todd accompanied Bella and Nelson to SeaTac’s airport from where depart the plane, he lowered of the car and said.
“I will not go to the building, here says “Good Bye” to me.”
The scene of that day was a perfect romantic movie, the sky was gray, torrential rain, many people went around them lost in their own worlds, with different lives, believing only in their own stock, on the reasons for their happiness or frustrations.
Todd, Bella and Nelson were living the own of them, a farewell that meant more than physical distance, meant a transitional suffering in the soul, that which cannot understand the heart trough of the reason, because the heart understands only feelings.
In this case Bella could not understand the pain caused by this platonic love would never go to happen.
Both under the same umbrella, she approached him with a female sensuality that could break the world’s toughest man, intertwining her arms to his neck, while bringing her lips to Todd, in an eternal prior sigh, kissed him gently, closed her eyes and imagined the world could be with him. Then Todd embraced with his right arm and squeezed hard the fragile Bella’s waist , she opened her eyes, looked at him and said.
“Good bye My Hero!. I love you! You has been and will be the best I have met in my life. I will love you forever!.”
Todd looked at her with love and strange feeling of resignation and said.
“Is better that it remains this way, an image and romantic memory that never fade, life becomes a routine agony.”
Then he knelt at the height of Nelson, hugged him with careful and deep love that had united as Father and Son in spiritual bond that has not explanation, this would rooted in both souls beyond life.
“Nelson, you never forget that we are protectors, that’s our job, I love you my little hero.”
The boy cried and said.
“Todd, I love you too! I will miss very much and always you be my role model.”
Then, Todd saw them away, it was like scene in slow motion, both of them gradually disappear in the middle of the crowd.
Todd certainly felt pain in his heart and his eyes were of the same color of that day, the gray color that outshone the brightness of his soul.
He left the airport, came to his apartment, leaned back on his bed and embraced the pillow that still smelled of Bella’s scent and thought about her.
A Superman doll had been forgotten on one side of the bed, then he took it and put it on the night table.
Todd fell asleep, feeling he was not alone, new ghost had invaded his apartment, probably they would live there forever.
The message of The Therapist
A month after the departure of Bella and her son Nelson, early in the morning Todd was in his office drinking coffee, the same routine of every day. Ivonne income with an envelope in her hand.
“Good morning! Oh! Todd you look like you have not slept well! How you have been?.”
“No too bad, working hard on different cases.”
She sighed and said with concern.
“I know that! Is your obsession!. Be careful with that. You need to rest if you not follow my advice, I will not have choice and I will give you couples of day of vacation.”
He looked at her with the affection that looks at spiritual sister.
“Do not worry!! I will be fine.”
Then she showing and handing the envelope while saying to him.
“It is an invitation to give a message to a large group of people, professionals like you, but the main guests are mostly women and children, who have suffered and suffer domestic violence. As I told you, there will be other therapist will speech before you. Are you ready to give your message?.”
Todd absorbed in his work.
“I will prepare something for that day.”
Finally, came the day of the meeting, conference room, Hilton Hotel in Issaquah. Attended numerous professionals, but there was a sector of the public that was very special. You could see in their true faces suffering caused by the multiple monster that unleashes aggressiveness different ways, that monster known as “Domestic Violence”.
The Todd’s speech was the last, the presenter announced to trough the microphone.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, now we will hear a brief message from a professional who has worked on many cases of Domestic Violence, with you The Therapist Mr. Todd Leone.”
There was not much applause from his colleagues from other organizations even one of them said.
“I hope he does not speak about his unusual methods.”
Ivonne was there and applauded passionately as always giving her full support to Todd.”
Todd walked to the stage, a woman murmured.
“He does not look like a Therapist, he is look like a bodyguard.”
Ivonne who was close to the blonde and sensual woman heard the comment and with her nervous and classical smile said.
“Maybe, maybe he is a bodyguard.”
Meanwhile at that moment at a school in Spokane, something happened unused during recess one ran child behind a girl with the intention of assaulting her. The little girl about six years old was trapped against the wall, the boy verbally offended her, the she began to mourn and when he was to hit her, all of a sudden appeared another child and took the offender’s arm, pushed him against the wall and did not allow him to move.
“Do not do that!! I do not want to see you hurting her! Understood?!.”
The little attacker tried to unhook but could not, although both were of the same size. The Protector Boy seemed be very strong and with a high confidence in himself and continued saying.
“You do not know, that boys were created to defend the girls?. Something is wrong with you!!.”
Once released the little bully, he felt sorry and said.
“I will not do it again. I so sorry!. Who are you?.”
The Little Hero grinned and replied.
“My name is Nelson, The Therapist.”
The another boy opening his eyes.
Then Nelson taking the girl by the hand.
“Come with me, we should report this to your teacher, is the right to do in this case. Anyways, do not worry! This will not happen again.”
The girl sobbed and said.
“Thank you! You always be here to protect me?
Nelson very proud about of himself.
“I always be here to protect you! I am a Protector!!.”
Todd Leone once on the stand. Silence, only few scattered gasp were heard in the conference room. Then he raised the head and looked at the audience from the front.
“Good afternoon! I hope you have enjoyed your lunch. Today, I specially address those who have been and are victims of domestic violence.”
He sighed and continued.
“For really long time, I’ve wondered to myself, why the abusers continue in this battle for Evil and the only answer I have found is that who believe in the Good, we must combat Domestic Violence, bringing the victims of this field of suffering.”
“We have to help the victim with Love and Rehabilitation to introduce them to a Better Life. Domestic Violence is a monster, I used unusual methods to combat it, I was wrong. First of all, we must rely on ‘The System’, but we need cooperation of the abused, those who are victims of this ruthless monster.”
He drank water and continued talking.
“Trust in The System, if you are being abused, suffering any kind of domestic violence, you should talk to the authorities and relevant organizations about what is happening to you.”
“Not fear! Do not hide the identity of the perpetrators, you will be in good hands and will be protected, if you do not speak out, if you do not say what is happening in your homes, perhaps in your jobs, perhaps in the school of your children, nothing we can do.”
“No one has the right to hurt and offend anyone!. Should trust in the system , this America, one nation under God’s truth, we believe in rights of human being and every one of you must to be respected in its entirely, physical, mental an spiritual.”
“And I have concluded we are responsible for this world. We must get involved in the Love of our neighbor. Love is the mother of justice, hope and courage.”
“Men! This just for you! forget that I am a Therapist. Man to Man!! We are protectors!! We have to protect children, they are the Future of our world, the Future of our Nation. We have to protect women, they are The Source of the Life. We all come from a Woman!. If you do this, means that you are a real ‘Macho’.”
“This is all. I really appreciate your presence here on this day, any concerns I will be at your disposal.”
Then he put both hands on his chest and bowed.
The audience stood and applauded loudly excited.
“Thank you very much!! But The Battle is not over.”
Todd retired from the crowd, alone and alert, as when a Lone Wolf crosses the Forest. Then a man with contemptuous, defiant and aggressive attitude said.
“Who the hell that guy think he is?.”
A confident female voice intercepted the comment.
“Be Careful!! Is Todd Leone, The Therapist.”